In 2010, the talent in the Angels farm system truly emerged. Many players took major steps forward to plant themselves firmly on the depth chart. While everyone became aware of Mike Trout, he was not alone in showing off his talent.
At the upper levels of the organization, the depth in the system was tested. Injuries and needs for the parent club led to a lot of shuffling around the organization. At the lower levels, skills were mastered and “raw” players became refined.
Over the years, many people have questioned why AngelsWin.com makes a Top-50 Prospect List. When other organizations only list 10, 20 or at most 30, they ask why we go to the lengths that we do in order to prepare our list.
At AngelsWin.com, we recognize that not all of the prospects on the farm will pan out. It’s an unfortunate reality that there are not spots on the Major League roster for all the talented players in the organization.
So then, why do we publish a Top-50 Prospect List?
By publishing a Top-50 Prospect List, AngelsWin.com believes that two things will become apparent. First, by showing a larger portion of the farm, the rankings for players become more meaningful by way of comparison. When AngelsWin.com ranks a player at a certain level, fans can see the talent against whom they are being compared.
Second, by making the Top-50 Prospect List, AngelsWin.com hopes to show the fans the waves and trends in the organization. By looking at our Top-50 Prospect List each year, fans can see how players are moving up or down the list from year to year. They can see if there are groups of players developing alongside each other to provide a wave of depth in a year or two.
In years past, the Angels have been stocked with middle infield prospects and have had true shortages of outfield prospects. That has now changed. The Angels have two waves of outfield prospects in development. They are stocked with right-hand pitching talent. They have depth at catcher. They are balanced on middle infield prospects and are short on left-handed pitching.
As always, AngelsWin.com considers many factors when ranking players. We consider the age of the player, the league in which he played, the competition against whom he played and the needs of the parent club. A player who is older than his league may not be ranked as highly as his stats would otherwise indicate. A pitcher playing in a hitter’s league may still be ranked ahead of a pitcher with a lower ERA in a pitcher’s league.
Additionally, AngelsWin.com talks with scouts, coaches and front office personnel from both within and outside of the organization to make our rankings. We listen to their comments about a player to see if struggles are a result of working on a specific skill or if a player’s success is because of his talents have finally blossomed. We try to get as thorough an analysis of the player as possible.
Finally, in making our list, AngelsWin.com goes to see the players. We use our own judgment of the player’s talents. When our discussions present conflicting opinions, we have our own analysis to use to distinguish a player’s rank.
This year, making our Top-50 Prospect List has been particularly challenging. There are several players in the “Keep An Eye On” category that we thoroughly debated including in the Top-50 Prospect List. Not making this year’s list, or even seeing a player’s ranking drop should not be construed as a negative. The competition was that fierce in some cases. As these players continue to improve and develop they will push their way onto or up the list. And, as other players graduate from the list, space will open for them.
For those who think that the Angels organization is weak, consider that over the past few years, the Angels have traded Alex Torres, Sean Rodriguez, Matt Sweeney, Tyler Skaggs, Pat Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez, Sean O’Sullivan and Will Smith for Major League players. Additionally, players such as Michael Kohn and Peter Bourjos graduated from the system. Had these players been in the organization, they would have made the list and pushed even more players out of the list.
Overall the state of the Angels organization is strong. How other publications choose to rank the farm system should be taken with some healthy skepticism. The Angels have and will continue to develop plenty of talent within their organization. And, they have and will trade their talent to fill the parent club’s needs. That is what the farm system should do. The fact that other teams want our players and prospects suggests that the talent is there. The fact that the Angels have made trades without sacrificing their best prospects suggests that others in the business hold by prospects in high regard. As Abe Flores, Ric Wilson, and Eddie Bane have all told us, they do not put credence in how other organizations rank the Angels organization, and neither does AngelsWin.com. Talking with coaches, managers, and scouts around the league has presented a different view of the farm than what some organizations have written.
1. Mike Trout (CF)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” 217 lbs. DOB: 8/7/91
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .362-.454-.526 with 6 HRs and 45 SBs in 312 ABs
Rancho Cucamonga (High-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .306-.388-.434 with 4 HRs and 11 SBs in 196 ABs
Scouting Report: It’s been nearly a generation since the Angels have drafted and produced a solid outfield from the farm. With Bourjos already on the scene in Anaheim and Jeremy Moore, Randal Grichuk and others in development, that drought may be soon over. With all that OF talent in development, it would take someone special to take center stage for the Angels. That person is Mike Trout.
In 2010, Trout destroyed both the Midwest League and the Cal League. Trout won the Midwest League’s batting title and paced the league in on-base percentage. After a stellar performance in the Futures Game, held in Anaheim, Trout was promoted to the Cal League. Initially, Trout got off to a slow start, but then came on strong. He hit .338-.417-.459 during August and September.
As a player, Trout has the range and ability to handle CF. However, if Bourjos can hit well enough to stick in the Majors, then Trout will most likely move to LF, where his average arm will play better.
Offensively, Trout has the ability to hit anywhere in the top third of the lineup. He has plus-plus speed and has advanced strike zone discipline (73:85 BB:K ratio). Trout has shown flashes of his plus power, but, at just 19 years old, it’s still in development. As he matures, he has the power to hit in the heart of the order where he could be a solid run producer.
A lot of fans want to see Trout in the Majors in 2011. But, the Angels will take it slowly with him. As Abe Flores, the Director for Player Development for the Angels told AngelsWin.com “When we feel that he is mentally and physically ready for the challenge at Double-A, we’ll make that determination and do that. And then, when he’s ready for Triple-A, we’ll do that.” More importantly, Abe Flores wants to drive home one specific point about Mike Trout: While Trout is a special talent on the farm, “Don’t ever expect Mike Trout to carry this franchise or any team that he is on. He is part of a team . . . He can’t win the game by himself on a nightly basis. He can’t. That’s unrealistic. Can he? On occasion, sure he can. But, not over 140 games in the Minor League schedule. Just expect him to do his part.”
AngelsWin.com is excited to watch Trout’s development as a player. We anticipate his arrival in 2012, where, he may become the Angels’ second-ever Rookie of the Year.
2. Jean Segura (2B/SS)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’11” 155 lbs. DOB: 3/17/90
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .313-.365-.464 with 10 HRs and 50 SBs in 515 ABs
Scouting Report: While the Angels have had a shortage of outfield prospects for more than a decade, they have not gone for want with MIF prospects. With Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar already produced from the farm, the next wave of MIF is closing in on the Majors.
Coming in at #2 on the AngelsWin.com’s Top-50 prospect is Jean Segura. Signed out of the Dominican, Segura is a 5-tool talent with plus speed, plus power and a plus arm. Limited by injuries in 2008 and 2009, he broke out in 2010 and showed the potential that he has. He finished the season third in the league in BA and stolen bases, often keeping pace with Mike Trout.
Segura makes solid contact and has advanced plate discipline compared to many of his peers. Hitting at both the top of the lineup and in the heart of the order, Segura drew 45 walks in 2010 while only striking out 72 times. He became a solid run producer for the Kernels, scoring 89 runs and driving in 79.
Defensively, he only committed 13 errors (.979 FLD%) and turned 77 double plays. He has the arm and range to be an above average 2B in the Majors. However, in his final chat with AngelsWin.com, former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane broke the news to us that the Angels planned to try Segura at SS. So far, Abe Flores, the Director of Player Development for the Angels, told AngelsWin.com that Segura’s looked “good” at the position in the fall but acknowledged that Segura will need time to develop into the position.
While Segura may not have the range of Aybar, with some refinement, he has the ability to be an above average SS with a strong arm. As such, he would become a premium talent with his mix of power and speed and an elite prospect.
3. Hank Conger (C)
Bats: Both Throws: Right Height: 6’1” 220 lbs. DOB: 1/29/88
Salt Lake (Triple-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .300-.385-.463 with 11 HRs and 0 SBs in 387 ABs
LAA (Majors): AVG-OBP-SLG .172-.294-.276 with 0 HRs and 0 SBs in 29 ABs
Scouting Report: Most organizations struggle to develop catchers, especially those drafted out of high school. But the Angels may have struck gold with Hank Conger. Limited for two years by injuries, Conger made improvements defensively behind the dish. His receiving and blocking are solid, but he still can get tripped up on footwork and throws. Still, he managed to throw out 29% of opposing baserunners.
Offensively, Conger has plus power. A switch hitter, Conger showcased that power in the Futures Game in 2010 where he hit a 3-run homerun to earn MVP honors. His bat is better from the left side, but he should mature into a threat from both sides of the plate.
Fans may have wondered about Conger’s early departure from Winterball this offseason. According to Abe Flores, there’s not too much to read into it. In Winterball, players have to perform right away or else the clubs will find replacements for them. Conger did not suffer any injury and leaving after only 10 games will not affect his development.
Conger’s future remains in limbo this offseason as the Angels continue to sort out their parent club. If Napoli is traded, he could earn a platoon role with Jeff Mathis. But, most likely, Conger will start the season at Triple-A where he will continue to develop his defensive skills and improve his offense.
4. Tyler Chatwood (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’0” 185 lbs. DOB: 12/16/89
Rancho (High-A): 8-3, 0 saves, 1.77 ERA, 70 strikeouts, 36 walks, 81.1 IP
Arkansas (Double-A): 4-6, 0 saves, 3.82 ERA, 36 strikeouts, 27 walks, 68.1 IP
Salt Lake (Triple-A): 1-0, 0 saves, 6.35 ERA, 3 strikeouts, 0 walks, 5.2 IP
Scouting Report: In 2009, Abe Flores said the following about Tyler Chatwood: “What he has to continue to harness and improve on is his command of his pitches. Not necessarily strike one, but being efficient in finishing hitters off and not letting counts get away from him.” In 2010, Chatwood did exactly that, dominating the Cal League and earning a mid-season promotion to Double-A Arkansas.
Former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane said this about Chatwood at the end of August, 2010: “Yes Chatwood is a front of the rotation guy. Chat’s command is improving and will improve even more. Great competitor and human being. Fastball up to 98 a lot with most in the 93-95 range and an above average curveball that he also throws very hard. His player comp is Lincecum but that is a scout dreaming through the roof. He would be classified as a short righthander.”
In addition to having one of the best curveballs and fastballs in the Angels organization, Chatwood is developing a good changeup. By attacking the strike zone low, and by keeping hitters off balance, Chatwood generated a 2.93 GO/AO ratio in the Cal League and a 2.00 GO/AO ratio overall.
After his midseason promotion, Chatwood’s strikeout rate dropped. When AngelsWin.com asked Abe Flores if that presented any concerns, he said “None. No concerns. Still like his upside. He still has good stuff. His command has continued to improve. No concerns.” In fact, in one start in Triple-A Salt Lake at the end of the season, Chatwood did not look overmatched.
It will be interesting to see what the Angels do with Chatwood in 2011. Based on their experiences with Trevor Reckling, it won’t surprise AngelsWin.com to see the Angels start Chatwood out in Double-A Arkansas again. There is no need to rush him. Having just turned 21 in December of 2010, Chatwood will still be very young for Double-A, and might be best served by getting a strong footing at that level before a promotion. But, a strong Spring Training camp could change all of that, so, it’s not entirely out of the question that he could start in Triple-A.
5. Jordan Walden (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’5” 240 lbs. DOB: 11/16/87
Arkansas (Double-A): 1-1, 8 saves, 3.35 ERA, 38 strikeouts, 22 walks, 43.0 IP
Salt Lake (Triple-A): 0-0, 0 saves, 4.05 ERA, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks, 6.2 IP
LAA (Majors): 0-1, 1 save, 2.35 ERA, 23 strikeouts, 7 walks, 15.2 IP
Scouting Report: Early in 2009, Chuck Richter speculated that Jordan Walden might make the move to the bullpen to best utilize his pitches. By the time we published Top Prospect List for 2010, both Eddie Bane and Abe Flores had confirmed to us that the move to the bullpen was in the works. By the end of 2010, Walden’s triple-digit heat was one of the most exciting things to see entering a game.
Because Walden did not reach 25 IP as a Major Leaguer in 2010, he still qualifies for our Top-50 list. And, because at the time of this writing the Angels’ bullpen situation is not firmly established, determining his short term and long-term value is difficult. AngelsWin.com does not doubt that Walden has the stuff to be a valuable closer in the future. When he will get that opportunity depends upon the moves the Angels make this offseason.
Assuming the Angels make no additional moves to the bullpen, Walden could find himself the closer for the team if Rodney continues to struggle. With his shaky performance last September, that’s not an unrealistic scenario. But, if Rodney continues to perform well, Walden could use 2011 to learn the closer’s role to take it over in 2012. However, all that could change if the Angels sign Soriano or trade for Soria.
Regardless, Angels fans need to be patient with Walden. As they have seen, he has the heat to succeed at the Major League level. However, there is no doubt that the league will study him and make adjustments. How Walden responds may result in some struggles. Walden can and should succeed, and could emerge as the anchor for the back end of the bullpen in 2011.
6. Garrett Richards (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” 210 lbs. DOB: 5/27/88
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 8-4, 0 saves, 3.41 ERA, 108 strikeouts, 34 walks, 108.1 IP
Rancho (High-A): 4-1, 0 saves, 3.89 ERA, 41 strikeouts, 9 walks, 34.2 IP
Scouting Report: Scouts will tell you that if a pitcher has two plus pitches, he can become a Major League reliever. If he has three plus pitches, he can become a Major League starter. If he has four plus pitches, then he’s Garrett Richards.
Richards throws a mid-90s fastball that can touch 98, a plus curve and slider, and a good changeup. He has the stuff to be a front of the rotation starter. After working out some kinks in his delivery and routine, Richards has not had the control issues that plagued him in college. Richards used his four quality pitches to keep hitters off balance. In 2010, he generated a 1.98 GO/AO ratio. He struck out more than 1 batter per 9 IP.
At 6’3”, Richards has more physical presence than Chatwood. But, Chatwood is a year younger and pitching at a higher level. Both have great arms that project to be front-end of the rotation starters and both are talented prospects.
In 2011, it will be interesting what the Angels do with Richards. After a strong showing in Rancho, the Angels could jump him up to Double-A Arkansas, especially if he has a solid performance in the Spring. That would give the Travelers a formidable rotation with Chatwood, Richards and Reckling which could feed off each other and develop confidence for all the players involved. But, it’s also possible that the Angels could take it a bit less aggressively with Richards and give him an additional chunk of time to develop at Inland Empire before earning a mid-season promotion. Either way, Richards is a hot prospect who is well on his way towards a starting job in Anaheim.
7. Mark Trumbo (1B/RF)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” 220 lbs. DOB: 1/16/86
Salt Lake (Triple-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .301-.368-.577 with 36 HRs and 3 SBs in 532 ABs
LAA (Majors): AVG-OBP-SLG .067-.125-.067 with 0 HRs and 0 SBs in 15 ABs
Scouting Report: When scouts grade talent, they use a 20-80 scale, with 80 being the top. Rarely is an 80 given in any one category as it means the player is elite amongst Major League players. If you’ve ever wanted to know what an 80 on the power scale looks like, meet Mark Trumbo. Former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane regularly identified Trumbo as an 80 on the power scale and the possessor of the most power within the Angels’ system.
In 2010, Trumbo tied for the most homeruns in all of the Minor Leagues with 36. He again improved his plate discipline earning praises from Abe Flores saying “he’s having a hell of a year. I’m really proud of that guy. He just keeps working and keeps improving and becoming a little bit more of a complete player. It’s all in front of Mark. He’s doing great.”
Defensively, Trumbo improved a bit in 2010, becoming a capable defender at first base. A former standout pitcher, Trumbo has a strong arm which he uses to make tough plays. He is a capable backup option for Kendry Morales at first base, should the need arise.
At the same time, though, Trumbo’s power potential may force the issue of how to work his bat into the lineup. In 2010, the Angels tinkered with him in RF, where his defense was below average but improving. When AngelsWin.com asked Abe Flores about Trumbo’s defense he said that Trumbo “has got a chance to be a good outfielder. Not great, but good.”
With the injury to Morales in 2010, AngelsWin.com questioned why the Angels chose not to promote Trumbo earlier in the season. Looking towards 2011, Trumbo may have to patiently in Triple-A to provide depth for the parent club. If so, look for him to continue to work on his OF defense to try and scratch his way onto the Major League roster.
8. Kaleb Cowart (3B)
Bats: Both Throws: Right Height: 6’3” 190 lbs. DOB: 6/2/92
AZL Angels (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .143-.136-.143 with 0 HRs and 0 SBs in 21 ABs
Orem (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .400-.500-1.000 with 1 HR and 0 SBs in 5 ABs
Scouting Report: The Angels’ first selection in the 2010 draft (18th overall), Cowart held out until the very end of eligibility for signing. Thus, he got very little exposure to professional baseball in his first season.
Initially a 2-way threat, the Angels drafted Cowart as a position player, which was Cowart’s preference. As such, he has drawn lofty comparisons. In his final chat with AngelsWin.com, former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane said that there was “no way” that Cowart was going back to pitching and compared Cowart to Ken Caminiti in his Astros days.
Cowart has plus power and a plus arm for 3B. As a former pitcher who could dial it up into the 90s, Cowart has the arm strength to stick at the hot corner. His defense will improve, and he profiles as an above average defender.
When AngelsWin.com asked Abe Flores in November, 2010 for his evaluation of Kaleb Cowart, he said: “Nice looking player, trying to understand how we go about the game—the Angels way of doing things. We haven’t had him for very long. He was only basically with us for 14 days and Instructional League. A player who has a bunch of tools and he has a soft skill level. We’ll get a really more in-depth look at him this year.”
In 2011, Cowart should be the starting 3B for Orem. Working under the expert tutelage of Tom Kotchman, Cowart should develop nicely as a prospect.
9. Alexi Amarista (2B)
Bats: Leftt Throws: Right Height: 5’8” 150 lbs. DOB: 4/6/89
Rancho Cucamonga (High-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .303-.349-.448 with 4 HRs and 17 SBs in 297 ABs
Arkansas (Double-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .288-.332-.325 with 1 HR and 4 SBs in 191 ABs
Salt Lake (Triple-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .400-.412-.585 with 0 HRs and 4 SBs in 65 ABs
Scouting Report: The Angels’ 2009 Minor League Player of the Year, Alexi Amarista is a dynamic top-of-the-order player and a defensive whiz. He hit at all levels last year, leaving scouts and coaches in admiration of all the ways he can help his team win. After finding success at three levels last year, Amarista carried his stellar production from 2010 into the Carribbean Winter Leagues. In 217 ABs, Amarista has posted a .295/.343/.521 line with 9 HRs and 6 SBs so far.
According to Abe Flores, Amarista is “a wonderful player. He can do so many things. He can beat you so many ways—with his legs, with his arm. He just plays with such an attitude on the field, and by attitude I mean good. I mean competitive. He brings energy to a team. He can just do so many things. Absolutely fearless. You really enjoy watching him play after a few days.”
The rate at which Amarista developed at 2B may have played a role in the Angels’ decision to move Segura to SS. By doing so, they can accommodate both players in their lineup down the road and have a spectacular combination up the middle.
With a good contact rate, stellar defense, plus speed and plus gap-power, Amarista could make Kendrick expendable in a trade or could find himself as part of a trade package in the future. Look for him in Salt Lake where he will continue to refine his game and await his shot at the Majors.
10. Fabio Martinez-Mesa (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” 190 lbs. DOB: 10/29/89
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 7-3, 0 saves, 3.92 ERA, 141 strikeouts, 76 walks, 103.1 IP
Scouting Report: Fabio Martinez-Mesa was on his way to a phenomenal season in 2010 when the Angels shut him down with arm tenderness and because he had reached an innings limit. The move was precautionary, and, by Instructional League, Martinez-Mesa was back pitching for the Angels.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic, Martinez-Mesa has a plus fastball that can hit 98 and a plus slider. He is still working on a changeup that has the potential to be a third plus pitch, but is still in development for now.
Martinez-Mesa’s 141 strikeouts in the Midwest League placed him at third best in the league. He trailed the league leader by just 10 strikeouts. Considering that Martinez-Mesa missed the final month of the season and pitched about 50 fewer innings than the league leader, his stuff really stood out amongst his peers.
As a young, physical, and projectable pitcher, Martinez-Mesa’s greatest value to the Angels is as a starter. He profiles as a #2 or #3 starter at the least. But, that would require him to continue to develop that third pitch. If he doesn’t, he could be moved to the pen where his high heat and nasty slider could be lethal combination.
Inland Empire should enjoy watching Martinez-Mesa pitch in 2011. As a young pitcher, the Angels will move him slowly, giving him plenty of time to show mastery of the Cal League before promoting him.
11. Trevor Reckling (LHP)
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’2” 205 lbs. DOB: 5/22/89
Salt Lake (Triple-A): 4-7, 0 saves, 8.53 ERA, 46 strikeouts, 50 walks, 69.2 IP
Arkansas (Double-A): 3-6, 0 saves, 4.56 ERA, 62 strikeouts, 35 walks, 79.0 IP
Scouting Report: Sometimes players have years that they just wish to forget. Statistically speaking, 2010 was that type of year for Trevor Reckling. But, instead of forgetting last year, Reckling needs to focus on what went right for him at Double-A Arkansas and what went wrong for him at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Reckling opened the season as one of the youngest starters in Triple-A. After coming into the year as the AngelsWin.com’s #1 prospect, Reckling was on the fast track to the Majors. At Triple-A, the Angels wanted to work with him on attacking hitters more, and, the game got away from him. Instead of attacking the hitters, he ended up nibbling too much and falling behind. Like many young pitchers, the mental aspects to the game got to him. Unfortunately, that affected his mechanics and he struggled reproducing his pitches.
Once demoted back to Double-A, Reckling fixed his problems. He settled down and regained his command and poise. While he had some rough starts, Reckling mostly smoothed out his mechanics and returned to form. He got back to pitching his game and became more aggressive.
Possessing one of the best curveballs in the Angels’ organization, former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane told us “Reck is still really really high on my charts and it shows his character that he bounced back from some tough times in SLC. He tried hard to get the ball over the plate more often and in my opinion he did that and sacrificed his stuff a little for better command. He can’t do that. He will be a strikeout pitcher in the big leagues.”
With Brandon Wood still on the minds of the coaching staff, look for the Angels to progress more slowly with Reckling. He is still the Angels top left-handed pitching prospect, and has plenty of time to bounce back. As Abe Flores told us in November, “he should be fine . . . [he’s] another guy we need to be patient with”.
12. Randal Grichuk (OF)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” 195 lbs. DOB: 8/13/91
AZL Angels (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .327-.365-.714 with 4 HRs and 0 SBs in 49 ABs
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .292-.327-.530 with 7 HRs and 4 SBs in 202 ABs
Scouting Report: As one of the most powerful players in the Angels’ system Grichuk’s season was marred by injuries. And, because of those injuries, the Angels took it slowly with him in 2010. But, when he was healthy, he showed the promise that his power can bring.
Presently, Grichuk rates as a 70 on the power scale. Former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane said that Grichuk’s power isn’t “raw”, but is “useable”, and he compared Grichuk to Dante Bichette without the Coors Field factor. However, Grichuk will need to improve upon his plate discipline to have success at the higher levels. Drawing just 12 walks in 2010 and while striking out 59 times in 251 ABs raises some questions that will need to be addressed.
Defensively, Grichuk spent the entire season in RF, where he showed above average range and arm. In 51 games with Cedar Rapids, Grichuk had 4 outfield assists.
Because of all the missed playing time, AngelsWin.com expects that the Angels will continue to take it slowly with Grichuk at first. He should start 2011 in Cedar Rapids again. But, if he finds success, he could be challenged with a promotion to Inland Empire mid-season, where he could post some monstrous power numbers.
13. Jeremy Moore (CF)
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’1” 190 lbs. DOB: 6/29/87
Arkansas (Double-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .303-.358-.463 with 13 HRs and 24 SBs in 456 ABs
Scouting Report: Last year was the year it all came together for Jeremy Moore. For years he’s been a “raw” 5-tool talent. But last year, he became refined. Not only did Moore post a solid season for Double-A Arkansas, he followed it up with an impressive AFL performance, posting a .343/.395/.543 line with 2 HRs and 8 SBs in 70 ABs.
According to Abe Flores, most of the credit for Moore’s through the hard work that he put in and the hard work put in by the Minor League coaching staff to get Moore to understand the nuances of the game. As Moore was better able to implement that, he was able to take on a leadership role for the team in Arkansas.
With the dearth of left-handed power bats in the Angels organization, Moore could emerge as a dark-horse candidate for an OF job with the Angels. As a CF, he provides depth should Bourjos struggle to hit. As a potential backup, he offers plus defense, power and speed. Or, he could be traded as part of a package in 2011 to a team where he could post 20/20 numbers.
14. Luis Jimenez (3B)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” 205 lbs. DOB: 1/18/88
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .292-.332-.476 with 2 HRs and 6 SBs in 168 ABs
Rancho Cucamonga (High-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .286-.324-.522 with 12 HRs and 15 SBs in 318 ABs
Scouting Report: In our 2010 Top-50 Prospect List, we said that Luis Jimenez needs to “reestablish himself as a premier power threat at the hot corner” as he recovered from shoulder surgery. Last year, Jimenez did that.
Named to the World Team for the Futures Game, Jimenez once again emerged as a top-tiered talent for the Angels. Known as “Mayor” to his teammates, Jimenez showed that the power had once again returned. His 31 doubles in 81 games in the Cal League tied him for 7th place in the league, even though he played in about 50 fewer games that the league leaders. His .522 SLG in the Cal League would have placed him 5th in the league if he had enough ABs to qualify.
Defensively, Jimenez improved as well last year. He turned 17 DPs in 77 games played at 3B. He did post 17 errors, but, 12 of those came in 30 games at Cedar Rapids, where he started the season, and only 5 of them came at Rancho. Because the Angels were converting Dillon Baird into a 3B prospect, Jimenez played some games as the DH to continue to develop his bat while giving both defensive experience.
Abe Flores compared Jimenez to Melvin Mora and described him as “a good player with a bright future because he can hit. He likes to play—a competitive guy.” Look for him to start the season at Double-A Arkansas where he will continue to share the 3B duties with Dillon Baird as the Angels continue to develop both at the hot corner.
15. Steve Geltz (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’10” 170 lbs. DOB: 11/1/87
Rancho (High-A): 3-1, 2 saves, 3.44 ERA, 51 strikeouts, 10 walks, 34.0 IP
Arkansas (Double-A): 1-0, 0 saves, 2.41 ERA, 36 strikeouts, 16 walks, 18.2 IP
Scouting Report: Signed as an undrafted free agent, Geltz has been a strikeout machine for the Angels. In 146.0 IP over three Minor League seasons, Geltz has struck out 203 batters or 12.51 batters per 9.0 IP. In 2010, though, he struck out 17.36 batters per 9 IP and only allowed 29 hits in 52.2 IP.
Geltz throws a low to mid-90s fastball that can touch 95, a plus slider, and a developing splitter. Although humble as a person (click here
to listen to an interview AngelsWin.com recorded with him), Geltz is fearless on the mound.
Coming from New York, Geltz liked playing in the warm weather and palm trees at Rancho. AngelsWin.com thinks that Geltz should get used to playing in Southern California as his stuff should play out well in the Angels’ bullpen.
16. Daniel Tillman (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” 185 lbs. DOB: 3/14/89
Orem (Rookie): 2-2, 10 saves, 1.95 ERA, 50 strikeouts, 10 walks, 32.1 IP
Scouting Report: When AngelsWin.com spoke with scouts who covered the Pioneer League, we repeatedly heard them rave about one pitcher in particular: Daniel Tillman. He dominated with a plus fastball that touched the mid-90s and a sharp slider. That effective combination set him apart amongst closers on the circuit. Hitters struggled to hit off of him, posting a paltry .195 BAA. When Tillman came into the game, the game was invariably shut down.
When AngelsWin.com asked Abe Flores who really stood out from the 2010 draft he said “Definitely I would say Daniel Tillman. Daniel Tillman stood out.” He is on the Angels’ depth charts and has the stuff to zoom through the organization. While the going will get tough at the higher levels, and the competition will become for a spot in the Major League bullpen will become tougher (with players like Walden, Kohn, Geltz, Berg and Scholl all making strong cases for a shot), Tillman has the stuff to setup or close for the Angels.
Over the years, one of the hardest comments to get from an Angels’ coach or scout is whether or not a person is a “future closer” for the team. At most, they will talk about the closer’s mentality and the closer’s makeup and the possibility of closing. When former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane was asked in August about Tillman’s future, and whether or not he could be a future closer, Eddie said “He has been outstanding for Kotchman. Closer would and should be his goal, but if we could get him to setup say Jordan Walden in the future that would be great.”
Tillman should start 2011 in Cedar Rapids. But, he could see time in Inland Empire by the middle of the season, especially if he continues to dominate or if moves at the higher levels open up a spot for him.
17. Dillon Baird (3B)
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’3” 190 lbs. DOB: 1/13/88
AZL Angels (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .231-.333-.308 with 0 HRs and 0 SBs in 13 ABs
Rancho Cucamonga (High-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .270-.323-.466 with 13 HRs and 3 SBs in 322 ABs
Scouting Report: In 2010 the Angels gave Dillon Baird two major challenges: Jump over Low-A Cedar Rapids to High-A Rancho, and switch positions from 1B to 3B. In both cases, Baird arose to the challenge and excelled.
With a smooth stroke that generates line drives and power to all parts of the field, former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane said “he is going to be a major league hitter.” Scouts debate whether Baird will add more to his above average power, but they like his stroke.
Defensively, Baird made the adjustment to 3B, but struggled at times. In 56 games at 3B in Rancho, Baird committed 16 errors. However, the Angels will continue onward with the conversion to provide more depth in the organization and maximize Baird’s chances of making the Majors.
Going forward, the Angels will have an interesting choice to make with Baird and Jimenez: whether they should continue to develop them both at the same level or split them up to clear the logjam. With both players capable of handling 3B at the same level, it might be best to split them up to get both more defensive work. It would not surprise AngelsWin.com to see Baird break camp with Inland Empire (the new High-A team) and Jimenez in Double-A for exactly that reason. But, it also would not surprise AngelsWin.com to see the both players in Double-A and continuing to share time at 3B. A lot will depend on what happens in Spring Training and what happens at 3B at the Major League level. As Abe Flores told AngelsWin.com a logjam like that is “a good problem to have.”
18. Jeremy Berg (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’0” 180 lbs. DOB: 7/17/86
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 0-0, 4 saves, 1.17 ERA, 20 strikeouts, 4 walks, 23.0 IP
Rancho (High-A): 1-0, 0 saves, 1.45 ERA, 27 strikeouts, 2 walks, 18.2 IP
Arkansas (Double-A): 1-0, 1 save, 1.50 ERA, 26 strikeouts, 5 walks, 24.0 IP
Scouting Report: Jeremy Berg shows that a pitcher doesn’t always have to have overpowering stuff to find success as a pro. Instead, Berg relies on an 87-89 mph fastball, a curve, and a developing changeup to keep hitters off balance. Throwing from a side-arm and submarine position, Berg generates a lot of swings and misses by mixing his speeds well and maintaining excellent location. He can throw soft-on-soft, which then makes his fastball explode on the hitters.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the Angels intend to use Berg. With the additions of Downs and Takahashi, there will be limited opportunities to crack into the bullpen. Berg brings a different look to the bullpen with his unorthodox delivery that could play well in Anaheim. He would allow Scioscia to adjust a team’s sightlines and timing as they adjust from the hard throwing starters to a hard throwing closer.
Look for Berg to start the season in Triple-A, and to possibly make an appearance or two in Anaheim by the end of the season.
19. Cam Bedrosian (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’0” 204 lbs. DOB: 10/02/91
AZL Angels (Rookie): 0-2, 0 saves, 4.50 ERA, 10 strikeouts, 7 walks, 12.0 IP
Scouting Report: When AngelsWin.com interviewed current Scouting Director Ric Wilson, we asked him about the importance of bloodlines when evaluating and drafting talent. He said “Blood lines are important, though, because most of the kids who have learned to grow up in the game, they understand what it’s all about. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t work. That’s where you have to separate one from the other. “
In 2010, the Angels followed the bloodlines and drafted Cam Bedrosian with their second pick in the first round (29th overall). His father, Steve Bedrosian, was a Cy Young Award winner for the Phillies in 1987 giving his son strong bloodlines in the business.
Unfortunately, Bedrosian was hurt for most of 2010 and only notched 12.0 IP before the Angels shut him down rather than risking any injury. Bedrosian throws a plus fastball that can hit the mid-90s and a developing breaking ball and changeup. Look for the Angels to be somewhat cautious with him at the start of 2011 as they build up the arm strength for an entire summer of pitching.
20. Travis Witherspoon (OF)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” 190 lbs. DOB: 4/16/89
Orem (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .309-.365-.472 with 10 HRs and 20 SBs in 288 ABs
Scouting Report: Under former Scouting Director Eddie Bane, the Angels loved drafting “toolsy” players and that’s exactly what Travis Witherspoon is. Drafted in the 12th round of the 2009 draft, Witherspoon showed what a “toolsy” player can accomplish when he refines his game through hard work and experience.
Offensively, Witherspoon has the potential to be a legitimate 20/20 threat. He has plus speed and power, notching 11 doubles and 3 triples to go along with his 10 HRs. In 2010, Witherspoon stole 20 bases without getting caught once. In his professional career he has only been caught one time in 31 chances. Defensively, Witherspoon can play all three outfield positions. He has the arm and range to play centerfield. He takes good routes and covers a lot of ground.
Witherspoon should start 2011 in Cedar Rapids, where, along with Randal Grichuk and Andrew Heid, he will form a strong young OF nucleus for the Angels. That nucleus should take the Midwest League by storm. With Trout, Bourjos, Moore ahead of this wave on the depth chart, the Angels can afford to move this group through the system a little more slowly.
21. Tyler Kehrer (LHP)
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’3” 210 lbs. DOB: 3/23/88
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 6-5, 4 saves, 4.56 ERA, 108 strikeouts, 70 walks, 116.1 IP
Scouting Report: At the start of the season, it seemed that Tyler Kehrer and Tyler Skaggs had a lot to share. Not only did they both have the same first name and both pitched left-handed, they both also shared starts to help limit the IP for Skaggs. But, when the Angels severed the two by trading Skaggs as part of the package to land Dan Haren, Kehrer returned to his role as a starter and where he excelled.
Like Garrett Richards, Kehrer was drafted on his stuff and projectability. He throws a low-90s fastball that can touch 95. He also throws a plus slider and is working on a changeup. Unlike Richards, though, command continued to be a problem for Kehrer in 2010. He will need to reduce the number of walks to have success at the higher levels. Over the course of 2010, though, Kehrer did indeed improve on his command, allowing only 26 BBs in 70.2 IP after the All-Star Break. In his final 10 games (9 starts) Kehrer posted a 3.62 ERA.
Kehrer should continue in 2011 as a starter for Inland Empire. The Angels will be patient with Kehrer as he refines his command. But, as one of the few remaining left-hand arms in the system, he has plenty of upside and value to the organization.
22. Eddie McKiernan (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’11” 160 lbs. DOB: 3/21/89
Rancho (High-A): 3-2, 28 saves, 3.40 ERA, 57 strikeouts, 20 walks, 55.2 IP
Salt Lake (Triple-A): 0-0, 0 saves, 20.25 ERA, 2 strikeouts, 1 walks, 1.1 IP
Scouting Report: While Eddie McKiernan spent 2010 repeating at Single-A Rancho, it was not a year spent in vain. McKiernan returned to the closer’s role and improved his numbers in the process. Although Eddie pitched almost as many innings in 2010 at Rancho as he did in 2009 (56.2 IP in 2009), he averaged just 1 IP per appearance in 2010 compared to over 1 IP in 2009 (55.2 IP in 55 appearances in 2010 vs. 56.2 IP in 45 appearances in 2009). As a result, he was much more effective. His GO/AO in 2010 improved to 1.31 at Rancho compared to 1.04 in 2009. He surrendered 13 fewer hits in 2010 at Rancho compared to 2009, which resulted in a .227 BAA in 2010 (.269 BAA in 2009). His command stayed just as sharp in 2010, with a nearly 3:1 K:BB ratio.
As was the case in 2009, needs at Triple-A Salt Lake resulted in McKiernan getting a short stint at the higher level. Unfortunately, McKiernan did not fare as well in 2010 at the higher level than he did in 2009. However, the fact that the Angels chose to promote him to Triple to fill a temporary need shows that they believe that he could handle that level of competition.
In August, 2010, AngelsWin.com asked former Scouting Director Eddie Bane for his best tools. When it came to control for a pitcher, Eddie Bane gave the nod to McKiernan. Looking forward to 2010, McKiernan should continue to close for the Angels, most likely at Double-A Arkansas.
23. Orangel Arenas (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’0” 200 lbs. DOB: 3/31/89
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 4-5, 0 saves, 2.01 ERA, 36 strikeouts, 15 walks, 53.2 IP
Rancho (High-A): 7-3, 0 saves, 4.55 ERA, 71 strikeouts, 45 walks, 97.0 IP
Scouting Report: When the Angels fired International Scouting Director Clay Daniels in 2009, it created some disruption in their quest to develop the best talent in the world. However, they still are reaping dividends from their prior work, and should have a good foundation on which to build, especially in their Dominican Academy. Amarista, Jimenez, Martinez-Mesa, Segura, and others are all international talents working their way through the Angels system produced from their Dominican Academy.
Signed out of Venezuela in 2007, Orangel Arenas came on strong in 2010. He improved almost all facets of his game all while playing in a hitter friendly league. He generated a 2.19 GO/AO ratio. He only allowed 134 hits in 150.2 IP, yielding only a .241 BAA.
Arenas sports a plus slider and fastball and a developing changeup. Whether or not he can develop that changeup may determine his future as either a starter or possibly a reliever. His value right now is greatest as a starter, so, don’t look for the Angels to move him to the pen anytime soon. But, in order to work his way into a Major League role, he could get moved to the pen down the road as he has the ability to induce ground balls and double-plays.
24. Tyson Auer (CF)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’0” 188 lbs. DOB: 10/24/85
Rancho Cucamonga (High-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .332-.387-.453 with 3 HRs and 40 SBs in 196 ABs
Arkansas (Double-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .308-.360-.395 with 2 HRs and 13 SBs in 185 ABs
Salt Lake (Triple-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .255-.327-.426 with 0 HRs and 1 SB in 47 ABs
Scouting Report: There are many ways to get to the Majors and to have a successful career as a player. Tyson Auer is showing that with hard work, skill, and good baseball instincts, it’s possible to carve out a niche.
When asked about Auer, former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane said “Smart players like Tyson can get to the big leagues and hang on for a long time by knowing how to play the game. Look at Reggie Willits and our great outfield instructor, Eric Owens. Owens was known in the big leagues as the most aggressive, love to play the game guy around and it helped him to a long ML career. Could be the same for Auer.”
With plus speed and plus defense, Auer projects to be at least a capable 4th outfielder and solid defensive replacement. But, at the same time, he could carve out even more of a niche for him, and, if an opportunity arises, could force his way into more playing time.
25. Andrew Romine (SS)
Bats: Both Throws: Right Height: 6’1” 190 lbs. DOB: 12/24/85
Arkansas (Double-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .282-.370-.366 with 3 HRs and 21 SBs in 383 ABs
LAA (Majors): AVG-OBP-SLG .091-.091-.182 with 0 HRs and 0 SBs in 11 ABs
Scouting Report: For years former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane has praised Andrew Romine’s defensive skills. In 2010, Angels fans got to see a taste of it during a brief September callup.
Drafted by the Angels in 2007 out of Arizona State, Romine is a local product, having played for Trabuco Hills High School. Romine has good on-base skills, notching 50 BBs and only 66 Ks in 2010. He has above average speed, but needs to get better reads and jumps, as he was caught 9 times.
Romine’s defense makes him an incredible asset as he provides depth at Triple-A Salt Lake. At the very least, Romine could become a valuable bench player, but, with further seasoning could emerge as a starter.
26. Chris Scholl (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’11” 200 lbs. DOB: 10/27/87
Rancho (High-A): 2-1, 1 save, 3.41 ERA, 82 strikeouts, 20 walks, 68.2 IP
Scouting Report: There’s something about the way Chris Scholl finishes out a season. In 2009, he struck out 37 in his final 21 IP without allowing an earned run. In 2010, Scholl didn’t do quite as well, but his numbers were impressive for a longer period of time. In the second half of 2010, Scholl went 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA striking out 39 in 24.0 IP and only allowing 6 walks. Over the course of the season, he only allowed 2 HRs, which is a trivial amount considering the dimensions of many of the ballparks in which he pitched.
Scholl throws a low 90’s fastball that touches 94 with good action and sink. His breaking ball improved, which helped him again post such great numbers.
The Angels have benefitted by bucking the conventional wisdom with their “short stature” pitchers, such as Chatwood, Geltz, and Scholl. Their belief that in their players and focusing on their skills rather than on the traditional “yardsticks” will pay dividends down the road. Look for Scholl to start in Double-A Arkansas where he will continue to push for a spot in the Major League bullpen.
27. Gabriel Jacobo (1B)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” 190 lbs. DOB: 4/14/87
Rancho Cucamonga (High-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .296-.333-.492 with 22 HRs and 6 SBs in 541 ABs
Scouting Report: The Angels’ 2010 Defensive Player of the Year, Jacobo posted a .998 FLD% for the year. With just 2 errors in 1151 total chances, Jacobo owns an impressive career .997 FLD%.
Offensively, Jacobo improved a bit at the plate. He showed more pop, but regressed a bit in his discipline, drawing only 24 walks and striking out 94 times. That lack of discipline may hinder him as he moves up the organizational ladder.
Double-A Arkansas will prove to be an interesting challenge for Jacobo in 2011. With its cavernous ballpark, Arkansas will determine how legitimate Jacobo’s power truly is (scouts have mixed opinions on this). The higher competition will also determine if Jacobo’s lack of plate discipline will leave him exposed as a hitter (again scouts are mixed on this).
At the minimum, Jacobo profiles as a capable backup at 1B with the potential to be a solid bat off the bench. At the higher end, he could prove to be a serviceable Major Leaguer.
28. Chevez Clarke (CF)
Bats: Both Throws: Right Height: 5’11” 185 lbs. DOB: 1/9/92
AZL Angels (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .216-.294-.389 with 3 HRs and 9 SBs in 162 ABs
Scouting Report: A prototypical high risk/high reward draft pick by the Angels in 2010, Clarke shows average to plus skills in all five areas. Currently, his arm and speed are his best assets, but power should emerge as he physically matures. His defensive instincts are improving, and he should rate as a plus defender in the future.
A switch-hitter, Clarke has a smooth stroke from both the left and right side. However, in his pro debut, Clarke flourished more from the left side than the right side, posting a .793 OPS versus right-handers (in 122 ABs) and only a .340 OPS versus left-handers (in 40 ABs). All of his extra base hits were hit against right-handers.
As a high school pick, it will take time for Clarke to develop. According to Abe Flores, “he just needs to refine his game and understand his game so he can have value for us down the road.” If he develops as projected, he will have plenty of value for the Angels.
29. Carlos Ramirez (C)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’11” 205 lbs. DOB: 3/19/88
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .226-.337-.381 with 9 HRs and 3 SBs in 257 ABs
Scouting Report: Of all the Angels’ Top Prospects last year, probably none of them had a more Jeckyll and Hyde season than Carlos Ramirez. Prior to the All-Star Break, Ramirez posted a .596 OPS. After the All-Star Break, Ramirez posted an .869 OPS.
Defensively, Ramirez threw out 42% of would-be baserunners and maintained a stellar .992 FLD%. This was an improvement on 2009 when he threw out 32% of opposing baserunners. According to former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane, Ramirez has caught well and has a good arm—two important qualities to maintain if he wishes to play for Mike Scioscia.
Offensively, Ramirez continued to show patience at the plate notching 35 walks, and showed his power potential as he regained his stroke in the second half. With the Angels’ depth at catcher, there is no need to rush Ramirez. But, a future combination of Ramirez and Conger would give the Angels an unusually strong combination of offense and defense from the catching position.
30. Ryan Bolden (OF)
Bats: Right Throws: Left Height: 6’2” 195 lbs. DOB: 9/17/91
AZL Angels (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .187-.278-.260 with 0 HRs and 11 SBs in 150 ABs
Scouting Report: One thing about Ryan Bolden that’s a bit unusual is that he bats right-handed but throws left handed. One thing about Ryan Bolden that’s not unusual is that he is a multi-tool talent taken as a supplemental pick in the first round by the Angels.
Bolden has both plus power and plus speed. But, both of those tools are “raw” according to Abe Flores, and will require patience to develop. When he arrived in camp in 2010, he was “a little green” but made improvements along the way. Pitch recognition was one area of concern, as he struck out 68 times in 150 ABs and only walked 14 times. But, considering he was 18 during his first season and a bit of a “quick-twitch” player, he should be able refine his game as he develops.
With Trout, Bourjos, Moore, and Auer forming one set of outfield prospects in the Angels organization, the Angels have another wave already in development in Grichuk, Clarke, and Bolden. Having waves of talent emerging through the system such as this will allow the Angels to continue to field a strong team while maintaining some semblance of payroll conservatism.
31. Ryan Chaffee (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” 190 lbs. DOB: 5/18/88
Rancho (High-A): 7-6, 0 saves, 6.36 ERA, 83 strikeouts, 46 walks, 104.2 IP
Scouting Report: Chaffee had a tale of two seasons last year. In the first half, he struggled with the mental aspects of the game, and was unable to put hitters away. He allowed 17 walks and only struck out 19 in 29.2 IP. Batters hit .325 off of him. But, in his last 10 starts, Chafee went 4-2, striking out 51 and only walking 19 in 58.1 IP. He held opposing batters to a .273 BAA. Chaffee throws an 88-92 mph fastball and a slider using multiple arm slots. Because of that, he’s drawn comparisons to Dave Cone in the past. If he can harness his command and keep the mental part of the game in control, he could find success in the Major Leagues.
32. John Hellweg (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’9” 210 lbs. DOB: 10/29/88
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 2-4, 16 saves, 4.33 ERA, 66 strikeouts, 45 walks, 43.2 IP
Scouting Report: One of former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane’s sleeper picks in the 2008 draft, Hellweg could pair up with Loek van Mil as the foundation for a great basketball team or back end to a bullpen. Hellweg features a plus fastball that hits the upper 90s. At 6’9” it attacks hitters quickly with downward angle. He also throws a sharp slider and developing changeup. Hellweg continued to struggle with command in 2010, walking more than 1 batter per IP, but also greatly improved his K rate, striking out 13.6 per 9 IP. Like Jordan Walden, Hellweg features back end of the heat and will earn a shot to showcase it if he refines his command.
33. Taylor Lindsey (2B)
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’0” 195 lbs. DOB: 12/2/91
AZL Angels (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .284-.325-.407 with 0 HRs and 8 SBs in 194 ABs
Scouting Report: In his final chat with AngelsWin.com, former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane said “Lindsey was the best pure hitter we had in Arizona. He is not bothered by velocity and always has his hands in the right place to hit. Premium kid and premium bat.” In his first pro season, Lindsey made the move from SS to 2B. A left-hander, Lindsey has average power which should emerge as he physically matures. Surprisingly, Lindsey showed some speed, notching 6 Triples which tied him for second place in the AZL League. Abe Flores told AngelsWin.com that Lindsey’s bat is ahead of his defense for now, but that his defense has “vastly improved” over the course of the season. “There is a nice upside to him.”
34. Max Russell (LHP)
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’2” 190 lbs. DOB: 9/21/88
Orem (Rookie): 4-0, 0 saves, 3.41 ERA, 31 strikeouts, 3 walks, 31.2 IP
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 2-3, 0 saves, 5.31 ERA, 30 strikeouts, 8 walks, 42.1 IP
Scouting Report: A fourth round draft pick in 2010, Russell throws a low-90s fastball and has a plus curve. When he commands his secondary pitches, he creates a lot of swings and misses. But, when he leaves them up, they can get hammered hard. Look for Russell to begin 2011 in Cedar Rapids, but, with experience and refinement should move up to Inland Empire by the end of 2011. With all the left-handed arms traded in 2010, Russell’s value to the organization has gone up. But, that’s not the only reason why his stock is on the rise. As former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane said “I have seen Max Russell in both Cedar and Orem and he is doing very well in Cedar’s rotation. A lefty with average ML stuff is a great place to start when looking for a prospect.”
35. Andrew Heid (OF)
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 5’10” 175 lbs. DOB: 12/14/87
Orem (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .362-.435-.505 with 9 HRs and 9 SBs in 287 ABs
Scouting Report: A hitting machine who lacks the power traditionally associated with a corner OF spot. Heid has great plate discipline and good defensive instincts. Signed as a senior in 2010, Heid’s bat will determine how high his ceiling is. The Angels, though, don’t seem inclined to challenge him by jumping a level with him to start 2011, but, if his hitting continues at a torrid pace, he could get an early season promotion. And, if he continues to hit, he will force his way up the organizational ladder.
36. Suammy Baez (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” 200 lbs. DOB: 9/28/88
AZL Angels (Rookie): 4-4, 0 saves, 2.68 ERA, 70 strikeouts, 17 walks, 74.0 IP
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 0-0, 0 saves, 2.79 ERA, 11 strikeouts, 8 walks, 9.2 IP
Scouting Report: Another product of the Angels’ Dominican Academy, Baez showed good control and a plus fastball in his second season in the U.S. Baez generated a 1.68 GO/AO ratio, which, combined with his control, should lead to a breakout season for him in Cedar Rapids in 2011.
37. Wendell Soto (SS)
Bats: Both Throws: Right Height: 5’8” 150 lbs. DOB: 5/11/92
AZL Angels (Rookie): AVG-OBP-SLG .260-.319-.307 with 0 HRs and 13 SBs in 127 ABs
Scouting Report: A switch hitter, Soto is a premium defender with plus speed. He has soft hands and takes good first steps, but his arm is average. While he does not project for much power, Soto has a solid bat that should get better as he physically matures. With the MIF depth in the organization, the Angels do not have to rush him and can afford him the time to let his bat develop along with his other tools.
38. Michael Wing (INF)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” 180 lbs. DOB: 10/25/88
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .287-.353-.449 with 8 HRs and 2 SBs in 296 ABs
Scouting Report: It’s hard to list just one position for Michael Wing. In 2010, he played at least one game at 3B (64), SS (15), 2B (6), 1B (5), and RF (1). His versatility is a true asset as he could become the ultimate utility player for the Angels. Drafted in 2007 out of Upland High School, Wing is starting to fill out and added some power in 2010. According to former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane, Wing has one of the best throwing arms in the Angels’ organization. Look for him to continue to play a variety of roles in 2011 as he becomes the jack of all trades.
39. Loek Van Mil (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 7’1” 220 lbs. DOB: 9/15/84
Fort Myers (High-A): 0-1, 0 saves, 4.50 ERA, 6 strikeouts, 0 walks, 4.0 IP
New Britain (Double-A): 1-2, 0 saves, 6.37 ERA, 21 strikeouts, 22 walks, 29.2 IP
Arkansas (Double-A): 0-0, 0 saves, 0.0 ERA, 0 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1.0 IP
Scouting Report: When the Angels traded reliever Brian Fuentes to the Twins, General Manager Tony Reagins said that the Angels received a player with “upside” in return. By upside, he meant the 7’1” Loek Van Mil, who could become the tallest player in Major League history if he makes the parent club. With such height, Loek attacks hitters with a sharp downward angle. He sports a plus fastball that jumps out at the hitters out of his hand. Health has been an issue with Van Mil, but, he appears to be ready for 2011. Command is still an issue with him, but, if the Angels can straighten him out, he could be a true asset to their pen.
40. Ariel Pena (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” 186 lbs. DOB: 5/20/89
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 7-5, 0 saves, 3.76 ERA, 88 strikeouts, 60 walks, 103.0 IP
Rancho (High-A): 0-1, 0 saves, 8.71 ERA, 8 strikeouts, 13 walks, 10.1 IP
Scouting Report: Signed at age 18 out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, Pena struggled with his command in 2010. Pena features a good fastball, but needs to attack hitters more and develop more downward angle or the hitter friendly Cal League will continue to be unkind to him.
41. Donn Roach (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” 190 lbs. DOB: 12/14/89
Orem (Rookie): 4-1, 1 save, 6.04 ERA, 59 strikeouts, 16 walks, 53.2 IP
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 1-1, 0 saves, 13.50 ERA, 4 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2.2 IP
Scouting Report: A lot of Major League teams to Southern Nevada to check out a certain outfielder and came away empty handed. The Angels stayed and saw Donn Roach, a player that they drafted out of high school in 2008 and failed to sign. What they saw was that Roach still had the stuff to get him noticed two years prior, so in 2010 they drafted him again and signed him. Roach sports a low-90s fastball and an above average breaking ball. Roach’s command was ahead of his peers, and he should start 2011 in Cedar Rapids.
42. Aaron Sookee (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” 172 lbs. DOB: 6/5/91
AZL Angels (Rookie): 1-2, 0 saves, 4.60 ERA, 27 strikeouts, 12 walks, 31.1 IP
Scouting Report: Signed in February, 2009 as a 17-year old out of New South Wales, Australia, Sookee is a 6’3” right hander with a plus fastball and curve. A hard worker, Sookee has a projectable frame that could bode well as either a starter or reliever.
43. Andrew Taylor (LHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Left Height: 6’1” 190 lbs. DOB: 8/18/86
Rancho (High-A): 4-1, 1 save, 2.06 ERA, 39 strikeouts, 14 walks, 35.0 IP
Arkansas (Double-A): 1-3, 0 saves, 4.70 ERA, 21 strikeouts, 18 walks, 38.1 IP
Scouting Report: Taylor got off to a good start in 2010 at Rancho. However, after a midseason promotion to Double-A Arkansas, he struggled. At the end of 2010, the Angels moved Taylor into the Double-A rotation. It remains to be seen if the Angels will continue converting him into a starter or if they will continue to have him work out of the pen. The additions of Scott Downs and Hisanora Takahashi will make it difficult for Taylor to advance to the Major Leagues. Still, this southpaw throws a low-90s fastball and a sharp slider that can put hitters away.
44. Baudilio Lopez (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” 190 lbs. DOB: 11/20/90
AZL Angels (Rookie): 1-1, 1 save, 6.00 ERA, 16 strikeouts, 3 walks, 15.0 IP
Rancho (High-A): 1-0, 0 saves, 2.25 ERA, 14 strikeouts, 10 walks, 20.0 IP
Scouting Report: A good fastball that can touch 95, Lopez has a developing breaking ball that generates plenty of ground outs. Like most young pitchers, Lopez needs to continue to refine his command in order to excel at the higher levels.
45. Heath Nichols (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” 180 lbs. DOB: 11/23/88
AZL Angels (Rookie): 2-3, 1 saves, 4.20 ERA, 44 strikeouts, 10 walks, 45.0 IP
Orem (Rookie): 4-2, 0 saves, 3.57 ERA, 26 strikeouts, 13 walks, 35.1 IP
Scouting Report: When AngelsWin.com asked Abe Flores which players in the organization really stood out in 2010, one of the players he pointed to was Heath Nichols. Drafted in the 29th round in 2009, Nichols jumped from the bullpen to a starting role in 2010. He attacked hitters low in the zone, generating lots of ground balls (1.98 GO/AO). Look for him to start 2011 in Cedar Rapids, with the chance to jump up to Rancho mid-season. Nichols has a plus fastball.
46. Jon Bachanov (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” 230 lbs. DOB: 1/30/89
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 2-0, 2 saves, 5.47 ERA, 23 strikeouts, 14 walks, 26.1 IP
Scouting Report: The road back from Tommy John surgery has been long and hard for the former first rounder. Bachanov spent a lot of time on the DL with a sore elbow and struggled with his control. Still only 21, Bachanov has time to recover his form, but health is a serious question at this point.
47. Brandon Decker (1B)
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’3” 235 lbs. DOB: 3/22/88
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): AVG-OBP-SLG .341-.429-.653 with 13 HRs and 0 SBs in 173 ABs
Scouting Report: Decker’s 13 HRs tied him for 3rd place in the Pioneer League. A physical presence on the field, Decker played a bit stiff and flat-footed defensively. A bit old for the league, his power projects well, but he will need to improve his plate discipline to succeed at the higher levels (16:44 BB:K ratio).
48. Carson Andrew (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” 205 lbs. DOB: 10/07/87
AZL Angels (Rookie): 0-0, 0 saves, 3.38 ERA, 6 strikeouts, 0 walks, 2.2 IP
Orem (Rookie): 0-1, 0 saves, 3.45 ERA, 14 strikeouts, 2 walks, 15.2 IP
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 1-2, 0 saves, 3.38 ERA, 20 strikeouts, 9 walks, 26.2 IP
Scouting Report: Andrew generated plenty of ground balls, posting a 1.76 GO/AO across all three levels in 2010. Over the course of the season, that stat improved to 1.95 at Cedar Rapids. However, Andrew’s command occasionally lapsed and he left pitches up at times, especially his secondary offerings, which the hitters at the higher levels were able to hit to the tune of a .302 BAA.
49. David Carpenter (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” 185 lbs. DOB: 9/1/87
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 2-4, 8 saves, 2.58 ERA, 52 strikeouts, 19 walks, 45.1 IP
Scouting Report: Another arm for the bullpen, Carpenter attacks the zone well to generate groundballs (1.61 GO/AO). Carpenter made improvements over the season in 2010, improving his ground ball rate and dramatically decreasing his BAA. When his teammate John Hellweg struggled at the end of the season, Carpenter was able to close out some games, notching half his saves in the last few weeks of the season.
50. Young-Il, Jung (RHP)
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” 190 lbs. DOB: 11/16/88
Cedar Rapids (Low-A): 2-1 0 saves, 1.77 ERA, 23 strikeouts, 22 walks, 22.2 IP
Scouting Report: Health issues have limited his playing time since signing with the Angels out of Korea. The lack of playing time showed with his command struggles and resulted in nearly 1 walk per IP. Still, he limited opposing hitters to 12 hits (.156 BAA). Young-Il’s future appears to lie in a setup role, where his can excel with his sharp command.
Others To Keep An Eye On: Joshua Blanco (LHP), Ysmael Carmona (RHP), Manaurys Correa (RHP), Darwin Perez (SS), Brian Diemer (RHP), Nick Farnsworth (1B), Bryant George (RHP), Carmine Giardina (LHP), Rolando Gomez (SS), Casey Haerther (1B), Pil Joon Jang (RHP), Luis Jolly (OF), Justin LaTempa (RHP), Aaron Meade (LHP), (OF) Matt Long, Kevin Moesquit (RHP), Thomas Nichols (3B/RF), Matt Oye (RHP), Nick Pugliese (RHP), Daniel Reynolds (RHP), Dakota Robinson (LHP), Alberto Rosario (C), and Aaron Tullo (RHP).
The AngelsWin.com Top-50 Prospects By Position
OF (corner): 3
*For counting purposes, Trumbo is counted here, although he can play the OF.
**For counting purposes, Segura is counted here, although he can play 2B.
***For counting purposes, Wing is counted here, although he can play a variety of positions.